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Last Updated: 10/02/01

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Since its inception, CIT has recognized that the greatest contribution we can make to emergency medical services (EMS) is to assist in the prevention of illnesses and injuries that require an EMS response. Our prevention efforts have been grounded in sound scientific data that clearly identify and describe a problem. We have then attempted to select and match proven strategies and funding sources with the identified problem. Lastly, we have always included a strong evaluation component into our prevention activities so that their impact can be measured and shared with others. Unfortunately, it often takes years or generations to observe changes in behavior and the reduction of risk. We are committed to injury and illness prevention campaigns that have the staying power to support this longitudinal change.

Suicide Prevention Research Center

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Suicide is a prevailing problem in the Rocky Mountain Region, especially among youths 15 to 24 years old and adults over 65. In a collaborative effort with the University of Nevada School of Medicine - Trauma In, the American Association of Suicidology and the Intermountain EMS for Children Coordinating Council, the CIT Foundation is assisting with the founding of the Suicide Prevention Research Center in Reno. The center is developing a comprehensive, regional database on suicide with the goal of identifying targets for intervention, selecting "best practice" strategies, providing training, resources and support to suicide prevention specialists and designing research to help understand this tragic problem. 

Montana Suicide Prevention Program (click for more)
Because suicide is a major cause of death and injury, especially in young people, CIT has joined the Montana Suicide Prevention Steering Committee to help build a 5-year suicide prevention plan for Montana. CIT shares the Steering Committee's belief that individuals and groups who address the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals and communities in Montana must work together to effectively address the suicide epidemic. Full details of the Suicide Prevention Program can be found at www.montanasuicide.org.

Injury Prevention and Control
CIT Foundation staff have been involved in injury prevention programs in Montana and the region. A notable success of these efforts is the Montana Injury Prevention and Control Plan, released in September 1998, by the Montana EMS and Injury Prevention Section. The primary goals of this plan are to reduce the rate of unintentional injury in Montana by 5% by January 2001 and to move toward the Healthy People 2000 objectives. The plan includes an overview of the magnitude of the injury control problem, discussion of injury prevention philosophies, emphasis on the need for better data over time, and strategies for implementation. Specific problem areas that will be addressed include infrastructure, motor vehicle injuries, fall injuries, intentional injuries and water injuries. 

Analysis of Prior Health System Contacts as a Harbinger of Subsequent Fatal Injury in American Indians (click for more)

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*.pdf format (49kb
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The purpose of this research was to identify and characterize any association between prior injury or alcohol-related acute care contacts with the Indian Health Service and subsequent alcohol-related injury death that may suggest opportunities for mitigation. Results showed a relationship between visits for acute or chronic alcohol treatment events and subsequent alcohol-related fatalities. This work helped to identify opportunities for prevention activities. This project was presented at the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and has been submitted to the Annals of Emergency Care for publication. This research project was a collaborative effort between staff and board members. Teri L. Sanddal, Nels D. Sanddal, James Upchurch and Thomas J. Esposito contributed to the project. It was supported by a grant from the US DHHS Office of Program Evaluation.

TENKIDS (click for more)
One of CIT's most celebrated projects has been the development of an electronic community that improves communication between EMS professionals about crucial issues, including the growing awareness of the important role emergency providers have in injury preventionInjury prevention programs are publicized using the TENKIDS electronic bulletin board and users are encouraged to direct injury prevention questions directly to the state's injury prevention specialists. One specific effort was the development of a three-part training program to help prehospital providers understand intimate partner violence, how to care for a victim and how to direct the victim to the help needed to stop the violence. The materials include the Here to Help CD-ROM program and printed manual and Resources to Help web site.

Illinois Injury Prevention CD-ROM
The knowledge that injury is a major cause of death in children led CIT to join forces with the Loyola Shock Trauma Institute to produce a comprehensive, interactive CD-ROM program to help physicians, nurses and prehospital providers learn more about injury prevention. The program will use video, text and graphics to cover basics in injury prevention knowledge, specific injury classifications and how the injury could have been prevented, then demonstrate how to approach a patient with injury prevention information.

Here to Help
Domestic violence is a prevailing problem in our society, yet prehospital providers get little training on how to handle these volatile calls. Ambulance personnel are often the first people a victim sees when he or she needs medical attention. CIT and the Montana Board of Crime Control created the Here to Help project out of the realization that those providers have a unique opportunity, not only to give the victim the immediate help needed, but also to provide that first helping hand in showing the victim the way out of the vicious cycle of violence. Additionally, because these providers must often enter the home of the victim and the perpetrator, it is vital that they learn how to protect themselves. Here to Help includes an interactive CD-ROM training program, a print manual and Resources to Help, a companion web site.

 

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